jeff gorton

One of the major stories heading into the draft, other than who will be selected and who the Rangers will be trading, is whether the Rangers will make all their current selections in the draft. The Blueshirts have 10 picks in the draft, with 7 of them coming in the first three rounds. The only round in which they don’t make a selection is the 7th round (Ottawa in the Zibanejad trade).

With so many picks, and specifically two picks close together at the end of the first round, there is speculation the Rangers might try to package those picks to move up. It’s a popular theory. As is perhaps trading one of those picks to move back and grab more picks in the later rounds. It is, after all, a fairly deep draft.

I’m on the fence about moving picks to trade up unless there is someone falling, like Adam Boqvist might. Joe Veleno is someone I’d move up for as well. I don’t see the Rangers being able to part with enough to move into the top five, though. This is more about moving into the late teens/early twenties to grab a slipper.

As for moving back, once you get past the first round the picks are basically crap shoots. I’m all for acquiring as many lottery balls as possible and drafting high ceiling players. At that point, the reaction for whomever the Rangers pick is solely based on opinion and not necessarily on any fact that these players will make it to the NHL. More picks means better odds of landing someone.

This seems like a lot of words to come to a simple point: Trading back is generally a good strategy in the later rounds. There’s a lot of luck involved in hitting on the late picks, so having more picks is never a bad idea.

As for trading up, if there is someone worth trading up for in the first round, then by all means package some of those picks to grab a falling potential star. Other than that, I’d be happy staying put.


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